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It's Our Tiku-versary!

Balloon mollies are fun, and I'm still growing out some of the babies from last year, but I just couldn't stay away from goldfish altogether. Last June (or was it July?) , they got another batch of baby tikus at the good LFS. Against my better instincts, I set up a tank for them and went for it, bringing home four, thinking that a couple would surely perish, and I'd manage to keep one or maybe two if I was very very lucky. I'm as shocked as anyone that, 8 months later, all four of the little

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Color A-Comin'!

I promise I'll take pics of the fry soon. Their transformation in the last week has been astounding! About half of the previously all-white fry have developed black spots, so hooray -- Dalmatians! And I'm starting to see the belly curve developing on many of them, so it appears the majority of them will indeed be balloons. Still feeding the NLS fry food and baby brine shrimp exclusively, though I think they're almost big enough to start picking at some regular thawed brine shrimp soon. They

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

More Room for Swimmin'

Got a 15 gallon bowfront set up for the Noodles (our balloon molly fry) last night and moved them over this morning from the two smaller grow-out tanks they'd been in since birth. They look practically microscopic in their luxurious new digs, but it won't be long before I'll be needing yet another tank for them if they keep growing at such an astonishing rate. I'm so glad I remembered to get a sponge cover for the filter intake. They'd been in unfiltered tanks previously, with large daily wat

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Icky Icky Ich!

A light outbreak of ich in the main balloon molly tank, and it's all my fault. I didn't quarantine our newest acquisition long enough. I think I've gotten so used to the mollies being generally healthier and less troublesome than goldfish, so I felt fairly confident about doing an abbreviated QT based on, honestly, nothing at all. Now we have ich. It's not bad, just a few specks on everyone's tail fins. I'm glad because I caught it in the very earliest stages. Have added salt to .2% and u

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Swimmin' Space

Divided the Noodles (our 22 balloon molly fry) into two tanks tonight, 11 in each, to give them maximum room to grow. They've already doubled, possibly tripled, in size in just over a week. They eat voraciously, and get both crushed/powdered tropical flakes and thawed baby brine shrimp each day. I'm going to have to keep an eye on Craigslist for a decent sized tank or tanks for them. Two 20 gallons would be about right, but I don't know where I'd put them. I'll figure it out though; maybe I

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

They grow so FAST!

It's now five days since our gazillion (well, actually 20, but they look like 10 times that) balloon molly fry were born, and we still haven't lost a single one. Knock wood, etc. As soon as Gem, the mommy molly to all these fry, is finished with her QT and moved to the main aquarium, I'm going to transfer half the fry to that tank, and will have two fry tanks going simultaneously. I want them to have maximum room to grow -- not that they're having any trouble in that regard. I swear they've

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Oodles of Noodles!

The niecelets and I hit a new-to-me LFS this weekend that I hadn't realized was only 15 minutes from my house. It was huge, with lots of really beautiful fish. We were hoping to find a new balloon molly (of course), after the unexpected loss of one last week. No luck, but we stopped at one of our regular LFSs afterward, and lo and behold, they had an absolute stunner, an almost all-black beauty with white speckles and highlights that the 6-year-old niecelet promptly named Gem. Gem. Isn't she

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Ebb and Flow

So out of nowhere, my favorite balloon molly girl died on Saturday. She started swimming erratically, and an hour later she was dead. It's four days later, and all the others are doing well. Water parameters were perfect at the time of her death, and I hadn't introduce new foods or anything unusual. This molly was one of my very favorites, a white-with-black-speckles dalmatian that my nieces had named "Dot." She was hugely pregnant a week or two before she died, but never gave birth that I

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Population Explosion!

So a few days ago, I noticed one of the balloon molly gals was a bit withdrawn, hanging out in the "birthing tunnel" ornament I put in the tank (it's like a bridge covered with artificial grass, so the birthing mama can hide a bit while she's in labor and the fry can swim up through little holes in the ceiling and hide in the grass). It was Creamy (remember, all fish named by young nieces!), the light yellow female, who had been looking ridiculously pregnant for days. I've read that livebearers

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Baby Boom!

So in my last entry, I wrote about the completely unresearched, unscientific way that I found myself walking out of the LFS with a bag of five female balloon mollies. Totally out of character for me to get a fish without learning as much as I can ahead of time. But I really wasn't thinking straight after senselessly losing multiple groups of baby pearlscales in an effort to establish my first-ever all-tiku tank, so I rolled with my impulses and found myself standing in front of my empty-but-thor

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Up Up and Away with my Beautiful Balloons

So I completely lost it when the baby tikus mentioned in my last blog entry arrived with 2 of them DOA and the rest looking sketchy. Total loss within 48 hours. It was awful. The seller very kindly sent replacements at no charge, all of which were DOA. It was ridiculous. They couldn't even make it into my tank before going belly-up. My theory is that both the online seller and the LFS were getting their baby pearlscales from the same wholesaler. Both the online seller and the store are in

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Please Mr. Postman

Found an online seller of baby ping pong pearlies and ordered some to ship this week. I'm not particular about color with this variety of goldie, as long as they're nice and round, which I've been assured they are. They typically only come in orange, orange/white and calico anyway, and like I said, I'm not fussy. Just want them roly-poly and ... healthy. For freak's sake, let them be healthy. So I have their tank disinfected from the others and ready to go. Picking up another wad of cycled

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Oh, the carnage

So all 4 of the new tikus perished within the first 48 hours. Am I surprised? Not really, because that's pretty much par for the course for me with this variety of goldfish. And I wasn't the least bit surprised when I returned to the LFS to find that the rest of their batch of tikus (about 10 or so) had died on them, too. Right now I have the tank running with an extra-heavy level of salt, to kill off the ich that these little boogers brought in (which naturally bloomed on them and became vi

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Alive and Swimmin'...

Seems like life gets in the way of my Koko's enjoyment at times -- it has really been a while since I've browsed around here! It's always weird when I come back from a Koko's break to see how many new folks have joined and become very active voices on the forum. Don't get me wrong, it's a great thing, but I'm like, Who ARE you people? Well, welcome one and all! Sadly, I lost Astro, my beautiful calico butterfly, just last week. I got to enjoy him for two years, but it's never enough, is i

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

On the lighter side...

Since my last blog post was kind of heavy, I thought I'd lighten things up a bit and just do some general goldfish chit-chat. I really did enjoy all the very thoughtful replies that last entry received, though. I'm still very much enjoying my totally derpy bubble eye, Hula. Seriously, I had no idea how much I'd enjoy having a bubble eye once I got over the almost paralyzing fear that he'd somehow rupture a sac within 10 minutes of arrival. Every time I'd peek at the tank, I was stressed out

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Sometimes Doing It "Right" Doesn't Matter

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I'd touch on a topic that's troubling to me as a goldfish keeper: The fact that sometimes, despite your very best efforts as an aquarist, following a care regime that's tried and true and proven by hundreds of other folks, goldfish sometimes just up and die on you anyway. It's really the ugly side of this hobby, and one that most of us don't really like to delve into too much. But I wanted to address what I think is one major element that can lead to the

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

A Swim Down Memory Lane

I've been getting nostalgic lately about some of the goldfish I've had over the years. I've been a goldfish keeper on and off (mostly on) since 1989, if you can believe it. Back in the olden days, it was mostly hit or miss in terms of success, with plenty of bad advice given by LFS employees (even worse than today!) and a lot of lessons learned the hard way. We had no Internet for guidance, no digital cameras (so we took few, if any, pics of our fish), and we were limited to the stock on hand

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Bubbling Over

Ugh, I hate when life gets in the way of good goldfish enjoyment. The last year hasn't been a great one for my family and me health-wise, although things are looking up. I just had the one-year anniversary of my brain surgery a few weeks ago, and we seem to have gotten my mom's issues under control as well. Here's to smoother sailing in the next 12 months! So although I was once again forced to take a Koko's sabbatical, I think it's safe to say that I'm back again, hopefully for keeps this t

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Did another water change last night with my new Python. I hope whoever invented Pythons made a bazillion dollars and retired happy, because it's just about the greatest invention I've ever encountered in the aquatic world. I think back to the "olden days" of fishkeeping when I lugged buckets from bathtub to tank and back again, and started siphons by sucking on the tubing (often getting a mouthful of dirty tank water in the process, yuck!) and I just shudder. Never again will I be without my

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Finally, Some Quiet

I'm so eager for my PetSolutions package to arrive on Wednesday. Not only will I have a nice new Python at last, but I also splurged and got a new Rena 400 air pump. I've always been easily irritated by humming or mechanical noises from my tanks, which is why I prefer ultra-quiet canister filters. Aside from the fact that they provide truly superior biological and mechanical filtration , one of the main attractions is that a good canister is virtually silent. I require silence from my air pu

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

So Many Goldfish, So Little Time

It's always the same old issue with us goldfish fanatics, isn't it? Too many wonderful, amazing goldfish out there, and not enough tank space. I feel more restricted than ever with my 30 gallon tank right now, because 2 goldfish is the absolute max I can have and feel like I can give them a good life. I'm thinking really wistfully of the days when I had my big ranchu tank, and a second goldfish tank in the bedroom. I usually had 5 fish in residence at any given time, and while I still got th

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Little Finned Piglets

I still haven't fully decided what to use as a staple diet for my two new fish. In years past, I've been a huge fan of Pro-Gold. It always gave my fish excellent growth and seemed to enhance their colors without muddying their white (which is why I took Saki-Hikari out of the rotation -- it gave my white goldfish an orange wash). In fact, I fed Pro-Gold back in the days when it was brand-new and was called Sho-Gold. Yep, been keepin' goldfish a long time, longer than some Koko's members have

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Adventures in Water Changing

I bought a generic Python-type water changer, and boy am I disappointed. The quality just plain sucks, I can't get a decent seal when attaching it to the faucet because of the thin plastic threading, and it removed and replaced water at a snail's pace. Seriously, I could have refilled the tank faster by standing over it and spitting for a couple hours. I finally got impatient during the refill and hauled out the bucket. So back to the store it goes, and if they give me any grief because it's

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

So far, so good. Mostly.

So far, quarantine is going just fine with the two new fish. They're at .3% salt as of yesterday, and almost finished with their first round of prazi. I don't see anything terribly concerning in either of them; normal poop for both, no tattered fins, no sign of ich. First QT I've done in a while, and it's a relief to have it going so smoothly. The only worry, really, is that the calico butterfly isn't quite as stable in the water as I'd like him to be. He very mildly headstands once in a wh

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

 

Yikes! We have BUBBLES!

So I had completely decided on a new fish: a lovely calico butterfly telescope with fantastic oversized eyes. When I went to pick him up, though, I kept getting pulled as if by a magnet to the bubble eye tank, and came home with one of them too. Oops! This is the first time I've ever had a bubble eye, and I've been keeping goldfish since the late 1980s. I think it's probably the only commonly-available variety I've never kept before. I've had ranchus, orandas, fantails, ryukins, teles, pear

RanchuDressing

RanchuDressing

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